SwedishAmerican in search of dogs with the right ‘ruff’ for new Animal Assisted Therapy/Activities Program—info session Aug. 2
From press release
SwedishAmerican Health System will begin an Animal Assisted Therapy/Activities Program this fall. The program is being offered through the Health Systems Holistic Health Services Department as an adjunct to other services provided to its patients.
Research has shown that a visit by a specially-trained therapy dog and handler can reduce stress and pain levels, lower blood pressure and result in shorter hospital stays for many patients.
“We are very excited to bring, what we think, will be an outstanding new service to our patients,” said Cathy Keith, director of Holistic Health at SwedishAmerican. “Our program will include friendly visits to patient rooms, group activities in areas like our Center for Mental Health, as well as one-on-one therapy tailored specifically to a patient’s medical condition. We also plan involvement with the Ryan Jury Child Development Learning Center as well as community involvement at our neighborhood schools, especially if they have students that could benefit from this type of therapeutic work.”
The program is recruiting members for its team of specially-trained therapy dogs and handlers to become part of this new volunteer opportunity. An information session will be at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 2, in the Conference Center, rooms 5 and 6, at the hospital, 1401 E. State St. Deb Schwarze, Animal Assisted Therapy coordinator, will provide details of the program and requirements for the handler and their dogs. Attendees may use either the State Street or Charles Street entrance and follow the signs to the conference room.
For further information, contact Deb at (815) 961-2030, ext. 2166, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dogs should not attend the information session.
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